What is the best way to engage my employees?

Hey there again and welcome to another Q&A Monday with a question that is truly frequently asked and has been answered by many: What is the best way to engage my employees?
 
To help you out of information paralysis and into action, today I’ll introduce you to one way of creating engaged employees – though what’s best for your team is best found out with a series of experiments.
 

Resources that drive work engagement

One of your tasks as a leader is to create conditions under which your employees can flourish at work. Your job is to provide enough resources, so they not only can get their job done, but are willing and motivated to go above and beyond what’s in the job description. 
Among those resources are:
  • task variety (who wants be stuck in a job that resembles Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times”?)
  • task significance (we all want to know that what we do day in, day out matters to others in the business)
  • autonomy (while what we do might be a given, we sure appreciate having the choice in how we do our job)
  • feedback (it’s important we know we’re on track or how we can get better at what we do)
  • social support from colleagues (we’re human beings, even at work, and we’re wired for connection)
all of these resources have been found to help increase work engagement. This should already give you plenty of ideas – just ask yourself the question: “How can I increase [resource] for my employee?” and jot down the answers. 
 

Transformational leadership style as a resource to increase work engagement

Transformational leadership has been defined as a “style of leadership that transforms followers to rise above their self-interests, by altering their morale, ideals, interests, and values, motivating them to perform better than initially expected”. It’s been around since the 70s and researchers showed that this leadership style drives engagement and even moderates the impact of stressors. Goes to show how important you are as a leader.
 

How can I be a transformational leader?

Transformational leadership is assessed on five subdimension which each are linked to a specific behaviour. You can use the following questions to reflect on what you’re already doing well and where you might have room for improvement:
 

Vision 

  • I have a clear understanding of where we are going 
  • I have a clear sense of where I want my team to be in 5 years 
  • I understand where the organization is going 
 

Inspirational communication 

  • I say things that make my employees proud to be a part of this organisation 
  • I say positive things about my team
  • I encourage people to see changing environments as situations full of opportunities 
 

Intellectual stimulation 

  • I challenge employees to think about old problems in new ways
  • I have ideas that force employees to rethink some things that they’ve never questioned before 
  • I challenge employees to rethink some of their basic assumptions about their work 
 

Supportive leadership 

  • I consider my employee’s personal feelings before acting 
  • I behave in a manner which is thoughtful of my employee’s personal needs 
  • I see that the interests of my employees are given due consideration 
 

Personal recognition 

  • I commend employees when they do a better than average job 
  • I acknowledge improvement in my employee’s quality of work 3
  • I personally compliment employees when they do outstanding work
 
So there you have it – you as a leader are a key resource to your employees and how you show up each day influences a great deal how engaged your team is. 
 
Have a great week & fun putting these insights into action!
Nicole

 
PS: Got a question you’d like me to answer? Click here to submit it.